November 30, 2010

YOU LIKE PUNK MUSIC DON'T YOU?

White Lung's It's The Evil record is pretty ferocious. Reminds me of Pretty Girls Make Graves, but angry. Much angry. Plus, the girl singing has old school, pre-hardcore style delivery. They are Canadian, even!

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November 28, 2010

November 24, 2010

COME TO ME LIKE A MORNING STAR

Tavia Nyong'o gets meta on TSA policy, Kanye, Bush, and so much more: "If Kanye’s frenetic lyrical, self-promotional, and all caps textual production could be reduced to a single question it would be that of the hysteric’s: why am I who you say I am? This question has undeniable traction in the current moment, not the least because it anticipates and, as it were, folds into itself, the predicted objection. There is he toasting himself as a douchebag, asshole, and scum bag, before we get to it. But lets notice the last proviso: he is also a “jerk off” who never takes work off, that is to say, who has internalized the obscene imperatives of capitalism to labor, accumulate and expend endlessly." Really salient, and also really the only thing I want to read about Kanye, who I haven't found to be compelling as a pop figure in a few years.

I had to cover two of his concerts in one day last winter and it fried me on him entirely, especially after his advice to the children in attendance was something like "do you homework, do you" and that his life motto is "I go hard". ZZZZZZZZ. Nevertheless, Sean Fennessy's recap of Kanye's show last night was something I enjoyed reading, especially since it lead me to the show-ending rant that includes a a real "cast no stones" defense of George Bush hammers home Tavia's point about the symmetries between Bush and Kanye, though I think it extends beyond the conservatism/capitalism points. Nothing Kanye does makes me want to care about him, I don't feel like there is anything gratifying in it. Something too easy about a talented asshole screaming LOOK AT ME. Hysterics discourse, indeed!

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November 22, 2010

DREAMCASAS

Matt and I are wondering, what artist lives here? Anyone know? It's kind of a dream home, but perhaps more for my pre-momhood rich arteest fantasy life. Cos 2 bedrooms and an airplane hanger sized room for fashioning my art will not cut it for our future family-of-7 needs. That studio must be a bitch to heat at like, 2,500 sq ft. And to be honest, THIS IS MY DREAM HOUSE, with its blue kitchen and silver wallpaper. I would like to buy this right now and keep about 60% of that furniture, esp the circular bed (you'd have to make special sheets) and the swan planter and dining room everything. I also would like that house because you could have four kids and still have an office. Or a sewing room. Where you make circular bedding. This is like, unreal cheap--the price of a New York apartment. Please, someone buy this for me. Perhaps I should just kickstarter a downpayment and the donation-payback would be that you could come party in the basement, because imagine how bizerk it probably is. LIKE BRASS ACCENTS EVERYWHERE AND VERY SHAGGY AND PLUSH. Oh my god, I bet there is a conversation pit. There has to be!

MEANWHILE, back in reality-town:
I wrote an essay about the morality of Springsteen's Darkness on The Edge of Town. The last line got edited funny and so it reads like I am now comparing Springsteen himself to the founding spiritual covenant of America (see John Winthrop), but I was actually saying that about the arc of Darkness, that the album is a mirror, of a lofty spiritual ideal--about striving and falling short of that, much like our country, historically and now. THE BOSS IS NO FAILURE. Also, I know the boxset is a pricey thing at $100 retail but holy smokes the DVDs are bonkers. I mean, aside from all the bits of him shirtless and demo-ing Darkness tracks with E Street Band, which if you are interested in that sort of thing (had no idea I was until I saw it, and now I am just like, someone's mom cooing over how handsome young Bruce Springsteen with his messy hair is) is worth at least $20 of those bucks. Also, the vintage concert footage is chills all the way through. NO one worked that hard for rock n' roll. Kind of unreal. Also, I was thinking yesterday, whomever assigned the band nicknames was incredibly unoriginal--"Big Man" and "Little Steven" and "The Boss"? And according to the German fan site I googled, Nils Lofgren goes by "Lefty". C'mon!? NO IMAGINATION.

AND ALSO: My interview with Luke and Sara of Lucky Dragons in the Chicago Reader.
I did not see them last night, but I saw two songs of No Age's soundcheck and it was, like, Minneapolis in the nineties LOUD. Bands born at the Smell are perma-shaped by playing such a uh, punk sounding long, cement room. And then they leave the Smell and go on tour but still play every room like it's the Smell. How was the show? Did you go? I bet you did.

AND NOW: It is raining. Rain with thunder, thunder which if you are in Canada is called "TUN-DURR"
AND NOW: Still haven't planted my garlics yet. Or covered my raised beds. It was almost sixty yesterday. GLOBAL WARMING IS SO CREEPY. It's Thanksgiving, where is the snow already?
AND NOW: Little hands, still asleep, poking up from the mini crib towards the sky.

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November 18, 2010

CONCEPTION BEGINS AT CROCHET

On twitter, I asked for local craftspeople to send me links to their etsy page or whathaveyou for the gift guide I am doing for the Reader and amidst the many cute-owl-items I was forwarded links to were of course like 18 note card stores. I cannot wait to be pregnant again just so I can send out these weirdly creepy and badmazing cards of someone crochet a fetus. I am not sure whether it would be better to be the sender or recipient of one of those. Who would you send one of those cards, a $4 a pop, to? Someone who wasn't close to you, or related to you and someone who doesn't just see you around a notice you are visibly pregnant--so who does that leave? Just people who you are distantly related to or people you only sort of know. Oh, to have the occasion to send that creepy card!

Someone should be making an IMMA TEXT U A BABY cards. The crafting world palette is so limited. Earrings and giant cowls and upcycled totes and tape wallets. Meanwhile, someone else is making a felt mini chainsaw and a woolen banjo to scale because they can.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Goodnight.

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November 16, 2010

IN A FUGITIVE MOMENT

The new episode of the podcast, #19, is real fine. It's a full near-hour with forgetters, the new ex-jawbreaker/bitchin'/against me band. Totally ruling. Putting the politics back in your punk and also a Human League cover which cannot really be beat.

The other night, I dreamt I was walking into an empty football field, looking for John Baldessari. I had thrifted a giant nightshirt, the kind that reads "THIS IS MY GIANT NIGHTSHIRT" and I wanted to show it to him because it was like his art, and I thought it would crack him up. I wonder if it really would.

Here is an old essay on Springsteen's rock n' roll covenant. Some parts are real interesting, some are dated, but I have been writing about Springsteen and thinking about the idea of consequences in music, the moral aspect--and when it disappears. Or rather when someone steps to the other side of it. And whether Tyler the Creator is underground rap finally getting its own GG Allin.

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November 12, 2010

AVAST YE SCURVY DOGS

Everyone is asleep. The dad one and the little one that chuckles in his sleep. But not me. I am WORKING. Writing! About the boundaries of morality in popular music. About how rocks sing in Lucky Dragons. About the life and death of Riot Girl for a general interest newspaper. About Ariel Pink being weird, but I still have to talk to him to confirm it. I have/had seven deadlines this week, three have been met. I gotta make the donuts, for I am a provider now.

Recently purchased a handheld vacuum, 5 different organic teethers that are all too big to be hand held in the hands for which they are intended, a handheld blender, a 95$ purple wool couch size large, 2 lacey but not grandma-y curtains, a handheld book and two velvet embroidered pillows, one reading "Marilyn", both have silken fringes and also can be handheld but that seems really not the best use for pillows, holding them.

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November 10, 2010

CODING

'But by coding masculine desire under the siren banner, the critic can stop short of sexist territory — discussing the band’s, yes, totally hot hippie-chick image, or worse, that the songs might encourage sensual emotions along with “feverish dreaminess.” Has America’s pro-gun, anti-condom puritanical ethics or, alternately, a liberal arts education so neutered (generally white) male writers that any frank discussion of female sexuality within music is a bad discussion? The risk of sexism (or as fearfully, sexual embarrassment after the revelation of private feelings) means reviews for bands like Warpaint will inevitably end up being condescending and — without the key ingredient of critical transparency — only halfway accurate.'
some salient points and honest writing on Warpaint, rapping about rape and more.

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YOU AIN'T NOTHIN BUT A WAITRESS IN THE SKY

8PM CST Weds 11/10: a Hit it or Quit it podcast "special" airs on vocalo.org (89.5 in Chi): an hour w/ Blake Schwarzenbach's new(ish) band Forgetters--live sesh & interview we did at WBEZ last month. It's my first attempt at being a real radio hostess, s'real serious like. We talked about the war a lot. From what I remember. It's kind of like HIOQI done in the manner of Fresh Air. Like a cover band, but radio show style. A shortened version will be avail this week on the podcast proper, with homeboy Greil Marcus as well.

&
My editor Whet takes on Jim DeRogatis and other critics who think blogs/Twitter/etc. are useless. I automatically take issue with anything that celebrates Kerouac, esp. On The Road, which is a book where no women speak.

&
Judy Norsigan, who co-authored the landmark feminist book Our Bodies, Ourselves speaks Friday at the Chicago Humanities Festival.

&
The Paris Review interview with Michel Houellebecq is amazing, for his is full of existential Frenchy ridicoulissness, which I just eat up, mind you. "I hadn’t seen any novel make the statement that entering the workforce was like entering the grave. That from then on, nothing happens and you have to pretend to be interested in your work. And, furthermore, that some people have a sex life and others don’t just because some are more attractive than others. I wanted to acknowledge that if people don’t have a sex life, it’s not for some moral reason, it’s just because they’re ugly. Once you’ve said it, it sounds obvious, but I wanted to say it." What a punk!

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November 05, 2010

I AM RENEWED IN YOUR BLOOD

This piece is a few years old but a goodie. Sometimes when friends interview friends it can be real insidery and lack context but Miranda July interviewing Khaela Maricich aka THE BLOW is pretty great. And as with most things involving both those artists, will make you feel like you are not using your time or talents to their fullest.

This weekend I might plant some garlic. A slow eight month micro crop seems like about all I can handle for sure at this juncture. Nothing fancy. I will try to document it because from what I read about it so far even brown thumbs like me should be able to swing it. Actually, I am not a brown thumb. I am lucky green thumb--my garden came up gangbusters despite being too preggo to manage it. I picked a little watermelon last weekend. I never bothered to look, but I happened to spy it. I am going to look around and see if there are more hiding under the 2 foot tall weedy brush growth that surrounds the whole place. Robin is coming to visit from Portland this weekend and says she will help me with some garden stuff but she is going to cry blood when she sees my plot of jungle. There is a lot of other stuff I could tell you about, but I have a pact oath to keep Williams baby life pretty private. Because who knows what the internet situation will be when he is old enough to read it, or an adult. Though I am kind of scared what the world will be like when he is grown, like if the internet is this heinous-mazing now and the air is this dirty now and the Tea Party is like, an actual thing galvanizing people...

ANYHOW.
I can tell you he is a big fat baby, he has just surpassed the weight of the biggest walleye ever caught in my homestate of Minnesota. He laughs and smiles and mimics us saying "hi" which cracks me up to no end, he sleeps through the night, which I understand for a 3.5 month old baby borders on sanctified miracle. The only time he gets crabby when he is laying down and wants me to stand him up so he can look at the art I put up in our room for him to look at, which sounds ridiculous but super precious and it is, except when is super awake and I am not, and he just wants hop up and down in my lap staring at them at 5 or 6 or 7 am. For a half hour. He is such a sweet mystery, such a gorgeous meatloaf.

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November 04, 2010

SLUMMY TRAJECTORIES

I have mixed feelings about Judd Apatow's work but I always like to read about a writers influences and process(es) and so I enjoyed this interview with him about his fave books. I found it via Sean Fennsessy's blog/tumble thing, Split Infinitives, which I have unmixed and singularly positive feelings about.

This Kate Wadkins pc about other "queering catergories" also has link to a bunch of interesting ideas and riot grrrl related projects and a review of a paper Mimi Nguyen presented, for you punk feminists, you.

Also: My Favorite Dirt Roads 1969 is something I would like to see in person. Both the roads and the photos. I wish I lived somewhere with a dirt road nearby. There is one and I cannot remember who was riding in the car with me when we discovered it--but there is a dirt road behind the post office on Western, like Western and Harrison?--it seemed to be an improvised exit from a poorly located cul de sac. Or maybe it had been in use for a long time and never paved. One end of it seemed "legit" as in roadlike, and the other end I vaguely remember driving over a curb and sidewalk. One day, when Matt and I get it together to make our zine/book/website "Janky Chicago" (DON'T STEAL OUR IDEA!) I will find a way to take it's picture. I feel like any picture of Chicago these days is a potential entry in Janky Chicago. Everything here is dirty and listing sideways. Structures, people. Chicago needs a collective upgrade. Psychically, and physically. Maybe Daley leaving will be like an exorcism? You know what is sad about Illinoisans is that Scott Lee Cohen who is a creep and whose ex-wife accused him of attempting to rape her got more votes than the Green Party. Maybe creepy dudes who enjoy massage parlors voted for him because they could identify and just wanted their guy in office.

Meanwhile: Smith Westerns complain nothing is happening in Chicago; their moms complain they spend too much time in the house. I love a teenage band really living up to the brat cliche, though it seems that the writer perhaps needled them into it. You can hear their eyes rolling in every quote. I kept expecting a graf to start "My stepmom is a total bitch, you know?" but it never materialized.

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November 03, 2010

SINGLED OUT

Katie Stelmanis and band has redid herself with a new name and more electro sound as Austra. Here's the first single off the 12". Less Kate Bush, more feelings disco.

New Erase Errata single out today, first new thing since 2006. You can hear one of the tracks here.

While you may be in an emotional hole after reading quotes from Rand Paul about how there is no rich or poor people in America or Michelle Bachmann, who I think must secretly be a Scientologist because her fantasy bubble of bullshit is so vast and defies reason--and it sucks when they are so idiotic and so impossible to ignore. BUT! At least Andrew Jackson is no longer president. I have decided that he is tied with Bush II as my least favorite president. Displacing Reagan, only b/c Reagan didn't have an ethnic cleansing policy on native peoples. I know directing my political hatred back to 1829 isn't very useful. I am not sure what else to do.

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